Young Choreographers Prize Interview: Zaquia Salinas

Hey there friends and fans of SDDT- happy Friday!  We are excited this week to give you TWO interviews showcasing our finalists participating in our ‘Young Choreographers Prize Showcase’!  The performance is only a month away!  Did you get your tickets yet?  All you have to do it visit us HERE, or give us a call at 619-225-1803, and you can see some fantastic innovative choreography and vote for your favorite!   Speaking of fantastic innovative choreographers- our interview today is with the beautiful Zaquia Salinas.  Check out what she had to say in response to our questions:

Tell us a little bit about your history in Dance.
I am a native San Diegan, and have danced and choreographed for most of my life.  At 16 she began to study at San Diego City College, where she was first exposed to modern dance and fell in love.  There, she choreographed her first piece, The Beautiful Mind of an Abstract Kid, which was selected for the Emerge Dance Festival in San Diego (2009).  At 19, she transferred to UC Santa Barbara, where she was part of the UCSB Senior Dance Company. She had the great honor of working with many amazing choreographers including Jennifer Muller, and performed their works throughout California, New York Italy.  She graduated with her BA in Dance with Honors (2010).  Her senior honors project, (Chican@) Pieces of Our People, received the first ever UCSB Emeriti Association Undergraduate Research Award for a dance work.  She has shared works at events such as the Celebrate Dance Festival (San Diego), Kinesis (Santa Barbara), and the World Cultures Program at SDCC (San Diego).  She just finished the presentation of her latest work, Spider-Women at the 10th Ave. Theatre (San Diego).   Zaquia is currently the Assistant Artistic Director for Visionary Dance Theatre. She hopes to continue to contribute to the San Diego dance scene in new and fun ways and is so excited to be participating in the Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize tis year!

In 100 words or less, why do you believe your work should win this competition?

To tell the truth, I’m not in it to win it- we’re all winners here. I am so excited to be sharing work with this audience and sharing the stage with so many great choreographers. Winning!

What are the themes involved in your piece?  Is this a new exploration for you?

This piece is based around the concept of death (in both the physical and spiritual realms) and the notion of a deity that assists the deceased in their passage from the living world to that of the dead.  These deities exists in many forms across cultures throughout history.  Some of the questions we are exploring include: what are the physiological experiences of death? What is the difference between the death of the soul, and the death of the body? Where and when do body and soul separate? What is the role of the death deity in this process?

Though the concept is a new topic of exploration in dance form for me, it is an area of culture and society that  I have always been fascinated with and have researched often.

What do you want your audience to know coming into the performance?

I’m sure we will Zaquia!  Thank you for your time!

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